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Update: Special air quality statement lifted for most of Sask

A band of wildfire smoke is moving southwards through Saskatchewan. This band will bring four to eight hours of poor air quality and reduced visibility as the smoke moves through.
The sun takes on an eerie glow in the sky above the Rocky Mountains, from wildfire smoke along the Alberta-B.C. border.

ESTEVAN — As wildfires intensify in British Columbia and Alberta, Saskatchewan has been experiencing the repercussions.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for Estevan at 2:35 p.m. on Saturday, following a number of similar alerts for other parts of the province a few hours earlier. 

The advisory has since been lifted for most of the province, although it is still in effect for portions of western Saskatchewan. 

“A band of wildfire smoke is moving southwards through Saskatchewan. This band will bring four to eight hours of poor air quality and reduced visibility as the smoke moves through,” said the alert.

“Conditions will improve through central Saskatchewan Saturday evening and in the southern parts of the province by Sunday morning.”


The special air quality statement was issued for:

Special air quality statement continued for:

Special air quality statement ended for:

Environment Canada reminds that wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations.

“Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke. People with lung disease, such as asthma, or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke,” says the statement.

“Speak with your health care provider about developing a management plan for wildfire smoke events and maintaining a supply of necessary medications at home and always carrying these medications with you during wildfire season. Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell. Contact your health care provider or local health authority if you develop severe symptoms or need advice.

“Check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and monitor your symptoms. People respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.

“Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the smoke. If you have an HVAC system in your home, use the highest rated MERV filter for your system (ideally rated 13 or higher) and set the fan to recirculate air constantly. You can also use a portable High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air cleaner. Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable. Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air.

“If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke. These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke.

“It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms. Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke. Reduce sources of indoor air pollution. If you can, avoid smoking or vaping indoors, burning incense and candles, frying foods, using wood stoves and vacuuming. Dust on indoor surfaces can be removed by wiping and wet mopping during a pollution episode.

“If you experience any feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, contact your mental health care provider for advice or visit Wellness Together Canada.

Please call HealthLine 811 for advice on health risks, symptoms and precautions associated with air quality.

Visit for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.